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Calgary recommendation -- fun / good dining on expense account?

JohnBT Jan 19, 2010 08:08 AM

A team of colleagues and myself are in Calgary for the first time. We have a chance to go out to dinner but do not know the city at all. Any recommendations for a place with great food and great ambiance that will make us all think very fondly of Calgary? I've gotten the recommendation for River Cafe a few times but it is closed in January, unfortunately.

Canadian / European (not Mediterranean) cuisines preferred but not required. Help?


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  1. sharonanne RE: JohnBT Jan 19, 2010 08:39 AM


    1. sharonanne RE: JohnBT Jan 19, 2010 08:40 AM

      Wait. Expense account? Rush.

      2 Replies
      1. re: sharonanne
        AriaDream RE: sharonanne Jan 19, 2010 09:44 AM

        With an expense account Rush for sure! :) Have fun!

        1. re: sharonanne
          John Manzo RE: sharonanne Jan 19, 2010 10:06 AM


          At Rush for my b-day Thursday! Can't wait!

        2. c
          cancowboy RE: JohnBT Jan 19, 2010 08:46 AM

          Chef's Table

          Chef's Table at Kensington River Inn
          1126 Memorial Dr. NW, Calgary, AB T2N 3E3, CA

          1 Reply
          1. re: cancowboy
            John Manzo RE: cancowboy Jan 19, 2010 10:07 AM

            I LOVE Chef's Table, but it's tiny and IMHO not the best place for a group dinner- for "fun" a place like Rush would be a lot more appropriate.

          2. DeeDub RE: JohnBT Jan 19, 2010 09:19 AM

            +1 for Rush

            1. s
              sallysmyth RE: JohnBT Jan 19, 2010 09:59 AM

              Q Haute Cuisine

              3 Replies
              1. re: sallysmyth
                katidyd RE: sallysmyth Jan 19, 2010 10:02 AM


                1. re: katidyd
                  sallysmyth RE: katidyd Jan 19, 2010 10:09 AM

                  Sugo, Mercato, Sandro

                  1. re: sallysmyth
                    23skidoo RE: sallysmyth Jan 19, 2010 11:27 AM

                    There was a fire last year at Sandro, and the owners have since reopened it as Rea's.
                    (Also, Rea's isn't exactly expensive!)

              2. j
                JohnBT RE: JohnBT Jan 19, 2010 01:45 PM

                Thanks, Chowhounders! We've got a reservation at Rush and from the website, it looks pretty good. Looking forward to it!

                4 Replies
                1. re: JohnBT
                  TSAW RE: JohnBT Jan 19, 2010 03:46 PM

                  It's very dark in Rush. If you have any age 45+ it's very difficult to see the menu - bring mini-light and/or bifocals! $5 plates are yummy! Have fun.

                  Oh and they have valet parking (I believe it is free) if you have a vehicle to worry about.

                  1. re: TSAW
                    John Manzo RE: TSAW Jan 19, 2010 03:56 PM

                    This reads like a nasty way to wish me a happy 46th :-) (which I'll be celebrating at Rush this week)

                    1. re: John Manzo
                      TSAW RE: John Manzo Jan 19, 2010 04:18 PM

                      looks like i'm the only 40-something blind person? John report back please.Would love to hear what you think. Have a nice birthday.

                    2. re: TSAW
                      Dan G RE: TSAW Jan 19, 2010 03:58 PM

                      I was at Rush for my 46th and had no problem with the menu!

                  2. j
                    JohnBT RE: JohnBT Jan 19, 2010 03:52 PM

                    I've also just been given a recommendation for Rouge as a good food, fun, good-Calgary-memory kind of place. Does anyone have advice on which one to choose or how to make the choice?

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: JohnBT
                      TSAW RE: JohnBT Jan 19, 2010 04:03 PM

                      Rush is downtown, Rouge is in Inglewood. You probably wouldn't walk to Rouge from downtown. You could but it's about 2 miles or so. I personally think the food is better at Rouge -I would say it's a little more gourmet in a historic setting and Rush is more contemporary/trendy. Tough call.

                      1. re: TSAW
                        Craig L RE: TSAW Jan 20, 2010 12:24 AM

                        Personally, not so impressed with Rouge the last time I was there. The food was good, the service not so much.

                        1. re: Craig L
                          maplesugar RE: Craig L Jan 21, 2010 07:30 AM

                          I've only been to Rouge a handful of times but haven't (yet) been to Rush. I've had consistently good service & food at Rouge and trust the others' opinions about Rush. I'd say it comes down to atmosphere/venue and whether one or the other's menu appeals to the group.

                          Rouge is very much focused on local/seasonal food, the house is probably early 1900's... the decor is traditonal, whereas Rush is on the ground floor of a downtown tower, and from what I understand very modern looking but also has a local/seasonal menu.

                          Menu (samples) for both: http://www.rushrestaurant.com/pdfs/Ru...

                          I'm not going to be much help making a decision since I think both would be worth a trip.

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